Physics for Scientists and Engineers: Oscillations, Waves, Electric and Magnetic Fields

Description: Lecture/demonstration, four hours; discussion, one hour. Enforced requisites: course 1A, Mathematics 31B, 32A. Enforced corequisite: Mathematics 32B. Fluid mechanics, oscillation, mechanical waves, and sound. Electric charge, field and potential, capacitors, and dielectrics. Currents and resistance, direct-current circuits. P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 5.0
3 of 6
Overall Rating 3.3
Easiness 1.7/ 5
Clarity 3.5/ 5
Workload 1.8/ 5
Helpfulness 3.5/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Professor Gekelman is a researcher, not a teacher. His method of approaching physics is the result of a life of calculations and complex simulations. He thinks on a whole different level than undergraduate students, believing that things like exponential functions dealing with imaginary numbers should immediately come to us after a normal high school education. He does not seem to understand that he has spent his whole life studying physics, whereas the majority of students taking his waves and electromagnetism class have only had roughly two years of experience. This gap between the professor's and student's knowledge base and the disregard of this gap by the teacher highly detracts from the learning experience of us students. On the other hand, Professor Gekelman is a very friendly man. He does care about his students, even if he doesn't know how to teach them. You could almost call him the nice grandfather type (btw the bruinwalk picture of him is waaay old). I'm sure if you go to his office hours he will definitely be willing to help you to understand the material from the textbook and his supplemental equations for the textbook. To sum it all up: Walter Gekelman does not know how to teach undergraduate students, but he will definitely be willing to help you if you go to his office hours. Other things: He has weekly quizzes, his Physics 1B class is curved, the midterms occasionally deal with his "supplementary" material, he teaches through slides, and he sometimes tries to derive equations on the blackboard (with lots of mistakes).
Overall Rating 2.7
Easiness 1.5/ 5
Clarity 2.5/ 5
Workload 1.3/ 5
Helpfulness 2.8/ 5
Most Helpful Review
This professor is, quite honestly, the worst professor I've had at UCLA. I'll be very honest in evaluating him. How he "teaches": Malkan does not teach. He simply walks to the front of the class and literally blabs nonsense for about 30 minutes, and then fills up the rest of the class period doing pointless demonstrations. Remember guys, we're no longer in high school, and since you don't have to go to class, I think time-wasting demonstrations are perfectly useless. In terms of the material, I can only say the following; with one of the TAs as my witness, he once spent 40 MINUTES discussing how to calculate electric flux through a surface - about the equivalent of discussing how to calculate force given mass and acceleration. He spends a ridiculous amount of time on very simple concepts, leading many of his students to believe his tests will be just as easy. How he tests: However, if he tested the same as he taught, everyone would get 100%. So he goes and takes tests he hasn't written (typically from Professor Cowley) and then tests you on material which is appropriate to the level that the class SHOULD be taught. Most people had a terribly difficult time with this though, because they learned from the lectures. What to do if you decide to take him: Don't go to class, but learn how to do all the type II problems in the book. I attended most of the lectures prior to the first midterm and did well, attended perhaps 25% of the lectures prior to the second midterm and did very very well, and attended 2 lectures prior to the final. And it worked, simply because I learned from the book (which by the way, he likes to bash for "including everything"). This professor is good for you if: 1) You are good at studying alone. 2) You don't wish to learn more physics than is necessary for just that class.
3 of 6

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